Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Story

I can't sleep and not sleeping leads to thinking and I ended up with ideas for another story. Check it out at if you're interested. Oh, and thanks for all the comments on this story. I promise there's plenty of good stuff coming up.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Chapter 12

I hung halfway upside down on my couch wondering if it would make the TV more interesting. It didn’t, instead making it hard to figure out what was going on and giving me a headache. I sat back upright and sighed before spotting Bauer staring at me strangely from the end of the couch. I was bored. I’d already been for a run and gone to the gym and it wasn’t even noon.

“Wanna go for a walk?” I asked. He immediately jumped up from his spot and began to wag his tail as he ran over to the closet where I kept his leash.

I strapped him to the leash, grabbed my phone, and headed out. I let him guide me wherever he wanted to go. It was a nice day so there were plenty of people out walking their dogs. It gave Bauer a nice opportunity to make some friends while I had something to do. We came to a street corner and I paused while waiting for a car to drive by before crossing.

That was when I noticed the flyer stapled to the telephone pole. It advertised a crafts fair in the park for that day and the next. While I wasn’t necessarily a crafts kind of person I was desperate for something to do and Bauer was beginning to get tired. I directed him back towards the house where I dropped him off before walking back into town.

I debated calling Sidney to see what he was doing but decided against it. While I was confident I could talk him into almost anything, I thought a crafts fair crossed the line. I walked from stand to stand checking out the different items for purchase. While most of it wasn’t my cup of tea, I could still appreciate the effort that was put into creating them.

I grabbed a burger and a soda from a stand and sat listening to the live band playing as I ate. This was exactly the kind of thing my mother would try to drag me to while I was home. I put up a fight every summer and I usually lost. Now I was at one voluntarily. What had my life come to?

An older couple joined me at the picnic table I was at and I chatted with them for a while until our food was done. That was one thing I’d never get over. People here were so much friendlier than at home. Of course, I figured that was because my home was a tourist trap for New York City dwellers that needed time out of the city between the months of May and October.

I started meandering through the stands again wondering if I’d find anything I’d buy when I hit the jackpot. There was a stand dedicated to pets. I walked over and found picture frames, treats, beds, collars, toys, and so on. Okay maybe nothing on this table was really for me, but Bauer was my baby. I started shuffling through the items and had a hard time not buying up the entire dog section of the stand.

“Do you have a dog too?” a woman asked me. I looked over and smiled at her as she shuffled through things as well.

“I do,” I replied.

“What kind?” she asked.

“Well, I was told he was a hound mix by the shelter where I got him, but I did some research and found out there’s a breed that’s not nationally recognized called a Hellenic Hound and he fits the size measurements and personality traits to a T.”

“Hellenic, you say? Isn’t that Greek?”

“It is. How about you? What kind of dog do you have?”

“Well, it’s my son’s dog, but it’s a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.”

“Oh yeah? I know someone who has that kind of dog,” I told her, thinking of Sidney.

We continued to chat about the dogs while we continued to peruse the stand. She ended up grabbing a few bags of treats and a couple of toys for her son’s dog. I did the same, but also bought a couple of picture frames for pictures of Bauer. Crazy, maybe, but like I said, he was my baby. I decided to grab something for Sam and picked up a toy and some treats for her as well.

“So what are you doing here then?” the woman asked after we’d paid. I’d just told her I had moved here for the summer alone.

“I picked it randomly on a map.” She laughed.

“Well, I guess that’s as good a reason as any. You know, my son is about your age. If you wanted I could get you two together and he could show you around,” she offered. I paused for a moment trying to think of how to politely turn her down.

“While I appreciate the offer I’ve managed to meet a few people who have done a pretty good job of that already, but thank you,” I explained.

“Oh, it’s not a problem,” she told me with a wave of her hand. “You just seemed like the kind of person he’d enjoy being around and to be honest he could use a little adventure in his life.” I laughed along with her.

“He’s wound a little tight, huh?” She rolled her eyes.

“You have no idea. He takes his job way too seriously sometimes.”

“Well, I’m sure someone will come along that will show him the light.” Before the woman could respond, her phone rang.

“Oh, I’m sorry, this is him now. It was very nice chatting with you.”

“You too. Have a great day.” I watched her turn and start to walk away as she answered her phone.

Deciding I’d had enough of the crafts fair I headed back home lugging my two large bags all the way back. I had definitely not thought this out properly when I’d bought so much. My arms were aching by the time I reached the house and I was grateful to finally be able to put them down.

“Want a special treat?” I asked Bauer, who immediately stood up on his two back legs and barked. I laughed as I tossed him one. He was a goofball sometimes.

I tossed him the toys I’d gotten him before putting the treats away. Of course then he wanted to play. My arms were sore, but I figured I could throw the toys down the hallway for him to chase a few times. Unfortunately tug of war was on his mind and I found myself grimacing each time he began whipping his head around while trying to pull it out of my grasp.

“Misty!” I heard come from the front door. I recognized the voice as Sidney’s.

“Come on in!” I called back. I smiled at him when he walked in and sat down on the couch next to me, Sam following right behind. Bauer dropped his toy to run over and jump into Sid’s lap. My arm was grateful.

“Hey, buddy,” Sidney said, greeting Bauer as he pet him. Bauer then turned and greeted Sam with a few sniffs. I got up and let them out into the back yard.

“So what’s going on?” I asked.

“Oh, well, I hope I’m not being presumptuous or anything, but I ordered Chinese to be delivered here for dinner,” he explained. I looked at him in surprise.

“You did?”

“Is that okay?”

“It was presumptuous, but since it’s Chinese I’m forced to forgive you,” I joked. He laughed.

“Good. I also thought that since it’s Saturday we should go out.” I was taken aback for a moment. Was he asking me out? Was the Chinese the start of a date? Where had this come from?

“Go out?” I asked nervously.

“Yeah. I’ll call up the usual crew and we’ll see how much trouble we can try to keep them from getting in.” I let out a sigh of relief. He wasn’t asking me on a date, he just wanted everyone to get together and hang out.

“That sounds like fun.”

The Chinese arrived a few minutes later. We left the dogs outside to run around while we ate. I smiled when I saw that he’d remembered what I liked and gotten me General Tso’s with steamed rice instead of pork fried rice with a shrimp eggroll. He was good.

Sidney fed the dogs while Misty got ready to go out. He heard the shower go on, and was surprised when it was turned back off only 5 minutes later. He shouldn’t have been surprised. Misty hardly spent as much time as most girls getting ready. He flipped through the channels on the TV until she walked out after only half an hour.

“Do I look ready to police your friends?” she asked, coming down the hallway. He nearly choked on his water when he saw her.

Misty came out in a sparkling black strapless top, dark jeans that were just tight enough, and purple sky high heels. He also couldn’t remember ever seeing her with her hair down until tonight. He hadn’t realized how long it was, but could now see that it went past her shoulder blades. And when did she get bangs? Then his eyes zeroed in on her red lips and he knew he was in trouble.

“Um, Sid?” she asked giving him a strange look.

“Right, sorry. How are you going to police anyone in those shoes?” Great, he was so flustered he couldn’t even compliment her. Hell, it came out like he was criticizing her. He was afraid she was going to get upset, but instead she laughed.

“You’re a dork. I guess I’m ready a little early. Can I get you a drink before we go?” she asked, putting down the clutch she was holding and walking into the kitchen.

“Whatever is fine,” he mumbled, still stunned. He knew Misty was hot, but Christ, he hadn’t been prepared for this. He felt like it had just hit him like a freight train.

“You have to promise to give this drink a shot before you turn it down,” she called out.

“Yeah, okay.” He was having trouble forming sentences right now as he watched her bend over to grab something from a low cupboard. Oh yeah, he was in trouble tonight.

“Try it,” she told him, handing him a drink that was pink. He’d managed to somehow get his act together a bit at this point and was able to look up at her skeptically.

“It’s pink,” he pointed out.

“Doesn’t mean it’s girly. Drink it,” she ordered. She took a sip of hers through a straw and he nearly chugged half his drink to keep his mind off of that visual.

“Wow, this is good. What is it?”

“Pear vodka, ginger ale, and pomegranate liquer,” she replied.

“That’s not girly?” he questioned. She smacked him on the arm not holding the drink as she sat down next to him on the couch.

“Shut up. You liked it until you heard the word ‘pomegranate’.”

When they finished the drinks they let the dogs out one last time before heading out for the night. Everyone was at the bar when they arrived and Sidney watched the eyes practically pop out of his friends’ heads when they walked in. Misty just smiled and greeted everyone as she sat down. He realized she was completely oblivious to the fact that every male sitting at that table couldn’t keep his eyes off of her, along with every other male in the bar.

Sidney was exhausted when he finally dropped Misty off at her house and picked up Sam. The night had been incredible with the whole group laughing nonstop the entire time. Even so, he’d spent a large part of the night glaring at every guy who approached Misty. As he got into bed he wondered when this had happened. When the hell had he fallen for her?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chapter 11

I heard a knock on the door and got up from my spot on the couch to get it. When I opened it I saw Jack’s smiling face staring in at me. I laughed and opened the screen door.

“What are you doing here?” I asked as I gave him a hug.

“I’m headed to the airport. Sid brought me by so I could say goodbye,” he explained. I stuck out my bottom lip.

“Nooooo,” I pouted. He laughed and flicked the tip of my nose.

“Don’t worry, I don’t plan on forgetting about you. We’ll talk on the phone and then you’ll have to come out to LA sometime during the season to visit.” I pulled my lip back in and smiled.

“Sounds good. I’ll miss you, Jacky,” I told him, giving him another hug. He laughed.

“And I’ll miss you. There’s no one in this world quite like you, Misty,” he joked.

“Should I be offended by that?” I asked. He pulled away from the hug and shook his head.

“Not at all.” He turned to walk back to Sidney’s car.

I looked over and saw Sidney sitting in the driver seat. It was the first time we'd seen each other since the morning after his party. I was still a little worried things would be awkward. Our eyes locked and he smiled at me. I returned the smile. Maybe it wouldn't be.

“Hey, Misty!” Jack called, diverting my attention back to him.


“Take care of my boy, here. He’s pretty special.”

There was a twinkle in his eye as he winked at me before getting into the car. That twinkle made me think there was more to what he said than the actual words. I gave a wave to them as I watched the car back out of the driveway and drive away.

Later that night it was the first night of the co-ed volleyball league. Aiden had called me and given me the details and I arrived, finding him almost immediately. There were teams already on the courts playing, and others were starting to warm up. I lugged my bag across the gym to Aiden’s group.

“Misty, I’m glad you could make it!” he called out when he saw me, a giant smile on his face.

“Hey, what’s up?” He introduced me to everyone else on the team as I began to get ready. I put on my knee pads and ankle brace before lacing up my sneakers.

“So what are you doing in Cole Harbour?” Aiden asked as he jogged next to me as I warmed up a bit.

“I decided to take a summer vacation and ended up here,” I told him.

“Who did you come here with?” he asked. I smiled over at him. It wasn’t lost on me that Aiden had invited me to join his team and was now asking who I was on vacation with because he was interested in me.

“I’m just here by myself.” He looked surprised.

“Really? So you don’t know anyone in town?” I stopped jogging and started to stretch.

“Well, I made some friends when I first got here that I’ve been hanging out with.” He smiled and nodded and fell silent as we continued to stretch.

We paired up together to pepper a bit while the other games continued. It took a few rounds of having him hit the ball at me to get back into the game, but once I was there I felt good. We had a round going so long that most of the other groups not playing had stopped to watch us and were cheering us on. The more they cheered, the harder Aiden and I worked. We began diving onto the floor trying to keep the ball in play. Finally Aiden dug a ball that I couldn’t manage to get to, and I helped him off the floor laughing.

“You guys seriously just went for almost 10 minutes without stopping,” someone commented. We both laughed.

“You’re pretty good,” he said to me. I grinned.

“You’re not so bad yourself,” I returned.

The game got going, and it was just like Aiden had said. Groups not playing had drinks out and were mingling with everyone. Even some of the players were drinking while their team was playing. Everyone wanted to do well, but no one took it overboard. When our team had won our match I was in a great mood.

“So what did you think?” he asked as I packed my bag back up.

“Oh, I’ll definitely be back,” I told him. We said our goodbyes and I headed home and took a shower before I crashed in bed.

The sound of rain on the bedroom window woke me up the next morning. I groaned when I saw that it was only 7 am. I rolled over to try to get back to sleep, but within a few minutes I realized it was hopeless. I got up and started some coffee and let Bauer out. I checked the weather and saw that the rain wasn’t going to let up anytime soon. I was bummed for a moment until an idea popped into my head.

I got dressed, grabbed some snacks and ushered Bauer into the car after giving him breakfast. I pulled up to Sidney’s a little while later and noticed that it was still dark inside. I giggled to myself as I walked up to the door and knocked on it. When he didn’t answer right away I started pounding on his door and ringing his doorbell relentlessly until he whipped the door open.

“What?!” he yelled as he rubbed his eyes. I burst out in laughter at his greeting.

“Good morning to you too, grumpy.” He looked at me in surprise.

“Misty?” he asked. I rolled my eyes and walked past him into the house. “What are you doing here?”

“I thought we could go fishing. It’s perfect weather for it,” I told him. He glanced outside before closing the door.

“Do you have any idea what time it is?” he asked when he followed me to his kitchen.

“Of course I do. That’s why I have coffee.” I held out a cup I’d poured from my thermos to him and he backed away, his hands in the air.

“Keep that shit away from me,” he said. I groaned before walking over and putting the cup in his hands.

“I made it pussy weak, just for you.” I pulled out a box of cereal and a bowl from his cupboard. Then I grabbed the milk from the refrigerator and fixed a bowl of cereal.

“Gee, thanks,” he replied, taking a sip. I saw his eyebrows shoot up in surprise. “This is actually good.”

“Well, hurry up and get dressed. The fish aren’t getting any younger.”

“Yes, mom,” he retorted as he headed back upstairs. I threw some cereal at his back as he continued to walk. Bauer and Sam delighted in the clean up.

Sidney had been ready to kill someone when he’d heard the racket being made at his front door. When he’d realized it was Misty his anger had faded. He wondered why that was. There was no one in his life that would have gotten away with waking him up like that, he thought. Well, obviously except for Misty.

He also realized that had it been anyone else rooting through his cupboards without permission and then eating his food, he’d have been pretty pissed off as well. It hadn’t occurred to him to be angry at her for doing that. In fact he felt himself smiling at how well she knew his kitchen and how comfortable she felt there. Then he remembered that he'd been angry at her when she dumped coffee on him the day they met until he looked into her eyes. He wondered what it was about her that made it impossible to be mad at her.

He did as she said and got dressed. He checked the weather to be safe and saw that the rain was going on all day. He’d never met a girl who thought a rainy day was perfect weather to be outside and fishing. When he made his way downstairs he saw that she’d fed Sam. That made him smile too.

“Okay, I brought some snacks of my own, but I didn’t have much in the way of lunch stuff, so I made some sandwiches from your supplies,” she told him, tapping the top of the cooler on the counter.

“Sounds good. Are you ready to go?” She nodded.

They left the dogs to themselves and walked out to the boat. Without him having to ask her, she started to help take the cover off of the boat and get it ready. When they were finished he pulled away and steered towards his favorite spot. Misty tossed him an apple when he’d stopped the boat.

“You came prepared,” he said to her as he took a bite.

“I usually am.”

They fished in near silence for a while, neither of them catching anything. A little while later he saw a tug on her line. She jumped up with a smile on her face as she began to reel in the line. He watched as she pulled out a nice sized fish.

“Check it out,” she told him proudly, holding the line up for him to get a good look at the fish, a giant grin on her face.

“That’ll make a nice dinner,” he replied. Her grin faded, replaced with a look of horror.

“You’re going to eat this?” she asked. He shook his head.

“No, you are,” he told her. Her eyes went wide as he grabbed a cooler to put the fish in.

“I told you I don’t eat fish!” she exclaimed. He laughed.

“Why not? It’s good.” He walked over and grabbed the fish to take it off the hook.

“It’s so cute,” she protested, taking a step away from him, and pulling the fish out of his grasp. All he could see was a fish. What the hell was cute about a fish?

“You’re not serious,” he commented. He reached for the fish again. If she wasn’t going to eat it, he would. She panicked and practically ripped the hook out of the fish’s mouth before tossing it back into the lake.

“Swim away!” she called after it, leaning over the side to watch it disappear into the depths of the lake.

“What are you doing?!” he yelled at her in annoyance. “I thought you went fishing with your grandfather.”

“I did. We always threw them back. We threw them back last time with Jack!” she defended herself.

“Because none of those were big enough to eat!” he said in exasperation. Maybe it was possible to get angry at her. She looked at him with the most pathetic look on her face. It was only aided by the rain streaking down her face as well, matting her hair to her cheeks. “Okay, what’s wrong? What traumatizing experience did you have with eating fish?” There was always a story with Misty.

“I caught a fish once with my grandfather. He said it was going to be dinner. Then he made me help behead and scale it. There’s nothing more traumatizing to a 5 year old than watching the fish she caught get beheaded, and then watching the mouth continue to move even after it’s no longer connected,” she explained.

Great, now he felt like an asshole. Once again, he just couldn’t be angry with her. She continued to look up at him with those sad puppy dog eyes and he grabbed her and pulled her into a hug.

“I’m sorry,” he said. She pulled back just enough to look up at him and gave him a small smile.

“It’s okay. I just couldn’t handle thinking about Trouty getting beheaded.” He nearly died laughing.

“Trouty?” he managed to choke out.

“Hey, Trout is the only fish I know and he needed a name,” she pouted. He felt the sudden urge to kiss her as he looked into her eyes as she tried to hold back a laugh of her own. Instead, he let go of her, pushing the thought out of his mind.

“From now on I know that when you say you want to go fishing it means just for fun.” She beamed up at him in triumph.

“Thank you.”

“You’re not going to make me name the fish I catch, are you?” he asked. She gave him a mischievous grin.

“We’ll see.”

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Chapter 10

So I put up a playlist of songs that to me go along with the story so far. There's not one for each chapter, but the first song definitely goes with chapter 1 and the others are self-explanatory thus far since they were all mentioned in chapters. Each time a song reminds me of a chapter I'm writing from here on out I'll add it.

I groaned a little when I felt Bauer shove up against my leg. I was big time hungover to the point that I thought I was going to die. The last thing I needed was to have Bauer trying to wake me up. I felt him move again against my leg when a chill ran down my spine. That wasn’t Bauer.

Very slowly, both because of my headache and because I didn’t know what I was going to see, I opened my eyes. My breath caught in my throat at the face I found myself staring at. Okay, I didn’t have to panic. Just because I’m sleeping in bed next to him doesn’t mean anything happened, right?

A second chill ran down my spine. I felt like I was naked. I slowly lifted the blanket so I wouldn’t wake him and peeked under. I was definitely naked. Oh God, what the hell had I done? I squeezed my eyes closed and tried to think. Did we have sex? I racked my brain but couldn’t remember anything.

If I didn’t remember it, it couldn’t have happened right? I’d never blacked out while drinking before so I tried to think of what the last thing I could remember was. I found that my last memory was Sidney yelling at Jack for touching me. Oh Jesus. I looked back over at my bedmate and cringed. At what point had that incident escalated into me being naked in bed with him?

Okay, think, Misty, think. I needed to get out of bed and get dressed. Maybe if I didn’t remember, he wouldn’t either. I peered around the room trying to find my clothes. I spotted them in all corners of the room. I took a deep breath and made my move. I inched out of bed, pausing every few seconds hoping I wasn’t waking him up. I was almost out of bed when I heard him start to stir.

“Misty?” he croaked out. I hastily pulled the blankets back over me to cover my naked body.

“Hi,” I squeaked out. I turned back over and looked straight into Sidney’s eyes. He grimaced as he opened his eyes.

“What are you doing in my bed?” he asked.

“You don’t know?” I returned. He ran a hand through his hair and shook his head. Well, I guess that meant he didn’t remember what happened last night either. “Honestly, I have no idea how I got here.” He sat up a bit and then his eyes opened wide.

“Are you-?” he started as his gaze drifted from my face to the sheet I was desperately clinging to myself.

“Yeah,” I managed to choke out.

“Did we?” he asked. I shrugged.

“Your guess is as good as mine although based on the fact that our clothes are strewn about the room I’m going to go with yes.” He looked just as embarrassed as I felt. I covered my face with my hands.

“I am so sorry,” he apologized. We sat there in an awkward silence for a few minutes.

“Maybe I should go,” I finally said.

“Yeah, okay,” he replied but neither of us moved. I looked over at him and tried to figure out how to tell him that I wasn’t exactly comfortable getting up naked in front of him and getting dressed. When his eyes met mine he seemed to get it. “I’ll just be in the bathroom.”

He grabbed the boxers on the floor next to him and discreetly slid them on before getting out of bed and closing the door behind him. I hopped out of bed and hurriedly got dressed. I told him I was done and he came back out. I walked downstairs to find Bauer with Sidney following me, probably to look for Sam.

“Hey, look who it is!” Walker called out when we walked into the kitchen. He was sitting around the table with Caden, Wesley, and Jack.

“We thought you two would be out a little longer after the performance you put on last night,” Caden joked. I felt my face turn bright red as the four of them laughed.

When Sidney woke up and saw Misty in bed next to him, he was confused. When he realized they were both naked, he was curious. How the hell had they ended up naked and in bed together? When he realized she didn't remember anything either, he was horrified. After an awkward exchange he left the room to give her enough privacy to get dressed.

He looked at his reflection in the mirror and shook his head. He tried to figure out how that had happened, but he couldn’t. He remembered sitting around the fire, but that was it. His memories of the night before died with the fire. Misty didn’t seem to remember anything either. That only made him feel worse. Despite the fact that he didn’t remember a thing, he still felt like he’d taken advantage of her.

She didn’t seem okay about it either. She seemed shaken and he’d never seen her like that. She let him know when she was dressed and he followed her downstairs. He had to find Sam and check out the damage to his house, hoping it wasn’t too bad.

“Hey, look who it is!” Walker said to them when they walked into the kitchen. He cringed when he saw the looks on their faces. They knew.

“We thought you two would be out a little longer after the performance you put on last night,” Caden said.

“Hey,” he warned, but they weren’t listening.

“You two said you were tired and going to bed and next thing we know we all heard the headboard pounding against the wall and a whole lot of screams from you both,” Wesley followed up. He turned to look at Misty, worried about how she felt about the situation. He was surprised at the look on her face. She was smiling.

“Aw, you guys are just jealous you didn’t get any last night,” she shot back at them. He was speechless. Was this the same girl that had barely been able to form a sentence upstairs a few minutes ago?

“I think you two got enough for both of us,” Jack replied. She just shrugged.

“I’d brag, but you all obviously know how it went,” she joked. He couldn’t believe the change in her demeanor. Something just didn’t feel right, but he tried to hide it as he laughed along with everyone else. “Well, I’d love to stay and go through all the dirty details, but I have to get Bauer home and get him breakfast. Thanks for a lovely day yesterday. See you guys later!”

Sidney watched her as she called out for Bauer who came running into the kitchen. The rest of the guys went back to reliving the night before but he continued to watch Misty. She paused at the counter next to the door to pick up her car keys. When she did she turned her head enough that he could see her profile. He also saw the single tear that rolled down her cheek. She quickly wiped it away as she walked out the door.

Suddenly he understood. Before this moment he hadn’t understood how Misty could be so crazy and so upbeat all the time, especially after everything with Mason. Now he got it. The goofiness and the sarcasm were a defensive mechanism. If you act like nothing can get to you, people don’t try to upset or hurt you. He’d thought Misty was unflappable. Now he knew better.

When he’d seen the transformation from the bedroom to the kitchen he was confused. As he watched the silent tear fall down her face when she thought no one was watching he felt like he knew her better. And he wondered how often she’d only pretended to be fine when she was hurting inside.

“So how was she?” Caden asked, grinning up at Sidney and interrupting his thoughts. Sidney glared back at him.

“Let it go.” The table was silent for a minute.

“How about Callie slutting around trying to make Sid jealous?” Walker said, changing the subject. They all laughed and Sidney was glad that they’d gotten the point.

I sat on the couch, drinking my tenth glass of water that day. When I’d gotten home I’d cried. How could I have done something so stupid? Now the tears were gone, but the regret remained. I can’t believe I’d done something like that. Not once had I been that girl. It just wasn’t me. I was sick of water and got up to make some coffee. Before I made it into the kitchen I heard my doorbell ring. I opened the door and saw Sidney standing on the other side.

“Hi,” I said quietly. I hated that things felt awkward with us now. I’d never been in this position before and I didn’t exactly know what to do.

“Hi,” he returned. I opened the door to let him in.

“Can I get you something to drink? I was going to make coffee,” I offered. He put his hands up.

“I’ve had you’re coffee. No thanks,” he replied. I scowled at him.

“I won’t make it as strong this time, I promise.” He laughed and nodded.

“Okay, I’ll have a cup then.” I walked back into the kitchen and he followed me, sitting at the table. I took out the coffee and started to get it ready. “How many cups are you planning on making?”

“Just a couple, why?” I asked, glancing at him over my shoulder. I saw his eyes go wide.

“I thought you said you weren’t making it like last time!” he exclaimed.

“I’m not even close,” I defended myself as Sidney rolled his eyes at me. I resisted the urge to add anymore and instead got the coffee going. I sat down at the table across from him. We sat there in silence for a couple of minutes before he broke the silence.

“I’m really sorry about last night and then about the guys this morning,” he apologized.

“It’s okay, it’s not your fault. At least I don’t think it is,” I added, trying to make him smile.

“You don’t have to do that,” he told me.

“Do what?” I asked.

“Act like it doesn’t bother you.”

I just looked at him for a minute. I wasn’t sure what to say to that. No one had ever called me out before. Things fell silent again as we both tried to think of something to say. I had a million thoughts racing through my head and I decided I just needed to get them out, even if they were a little jumbled.

“I’m not some puck slut,” I blurted out. His head snapped up in surprise.

“Excuse me?”

“Mason was the only hockey player I’d ever been with, and I was in love with him. I never intended on sleeping with you. I’m not like that. I don’t want you to think I’m like that,” I explained.

“Misty, I never did. I know girls that are like that and you couldn’t be any more different from them,” he assured me.

“I also don’t black out, and I don’t just sleep with people. I was in a relationship with the other guys before you. You’re the first person I’m not dating that I’ve slept with. I’m not that girl. Not that there’s anything wrong with girls that do that, but it’s not me.” He reached across the table and took my hand in his.

“I know. You don’t have to do this. I’m not going to expect anything and I’m not going to think any different of you. That’s why I’m here. I wanted to make sure that we were okay.” I managed a relieved smile.

“We’re okay.”

The coffee was ready at that point and I got up to pour two cups. When I turned to walk back to the table I saw Bauer standing with his front paws on Sidney’s lap, wagging his tail. I smiled at the sight. I couldn’t believe how fast Bauer had taken to Sidney. I knew that despite my worries, if Bauer, who didn’t trust anyone, could trust Sidney, I should be able to trust him too.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Chapter 9

I pulled up to Sidney’s house and got out of the car. I made my way over to the passenger side and let Bauer out. There were already people there. It was Canada Day and Sidney was throwing an all day party at his house. Bauer followed me to the back and immediately spotted Sam. He tore off after her and I made my way to where Sidney and Jack were sitting.

“Misty!” Jack called in greeting as he saw me walking up.

“Hey guys,” I returned with a smile.

I sat down at the table with everyone else and Jack handed me a beer. As the party filled in I helped Sidney set out food and drinks. He kept insisting that I go hang out with everyone, but I wasn’t about to let him do everything on his own. I always felt bad for the hosts of parties. They were so busy making sure everyone had what they needed that they never got to have fun. I didn’t want that to happen to Sidney.

Later on we separated and I found myself talking to Zara and some of her friends. We were laying out on the dock in our bathing suits joking about the guys. At some point I looked over at the rest of the party and saw Sidney talking to a blonde girl. I slid my sunglasses down my nose to get a better look at her. She was lightly touching his shoulder as she laughed at something.

“Who invited the street trash?” I heard Zara say. I turned to look over at her.

“You guys know her?” I asked. They all rolled their eyes.

“Sid made the mistake of dating her last summer. It took him about a month to realize she was a slut gunning for his money and fame before he dumped her,” one of Zara’s friends, named Valerie replied.

I looked back over in shock. Was that Sidney’s type? I just couldn’t see him going for someone like her. I mean, she was pretty, if you liked the overdone blonde porn star look. Still, she wasn’t what I thought his type would be. I felt a slight twinge of disappointment. It caught me offguard and I tried to shake the thought out of my head. What did I have to be jealous of? Sidney was just a friend, and there was no reason to get jealous over a friend’s ex.

“Are you okay?” Zara asked me. I turned to her and smiled.

“Of course. Why wouldn’t I be?” I responded. She smiled back.

“I just thought maybe it bothered you that his clingy ex was here.”

“Why would it bother me?” She just gave me a look without responding. I laid back on the dock, sliding my sunglasses back into place.

As we all laid there talking and taking in the sun I thought about what Zara had said. Or more about what she hadn’t said. Did she think I had feelings for Sidney? Did I? Sure he was sweet, funny, and cute, but I couldn’t date right now. I’d come to Cole Harbour for a reason and starting a relationship wasn’t that reason. I wasn’t going to deny that if it had been a different time maybe I’d have felt something, but that just wasn’t the case. We were just friends and that’s all it was going to be.

“Anyone up for a swim?” a voice asked. I looked up to see Jack looking down at me. I smiled and popped up from my spot.

“I’m in,” I said. The rest of the girls declined and I dove into the water. Jack and I swam around and talked for a while just enjoying the day. When we tired of swimming we both climbed out.

“What happened?” Jack asked. I tilted my head and gave him a strange look.

“What do you mean?” I returned. He smiled before reaching out to touch my side. I looked down as he traced his finger along the scar I had.

“Your scar. What happened?” he repeated.

“Oh, that. My appendix ruptured and had to be removed. I almost died. No big deal,” I joked.

“How did you almost die?” I didn’t have a chance to respond before we were interrupted.

“What the hell is going on here?”

Sidney tried to remain focused on the conversation with Wesley and Caden but Misty and Jack were swimming in the lake together. He’d had an eye on them all day. Jack was laying it on thick with her and it was really getting to him. Before it was just annoying. Now he was getting mad.

He knew what kind of person Jack was. Jack was one of his best friends, but he was also a player. While it never bothered Sidney before, it was bothering him now that Jack was honing in on Misty. She was too good of a friend for him to let Jack do that to her. She didn’t deserve to be another notch in Jack’s bedpost.

“Earth to Sidney. Are you there?” Wesley asked, interrupting his thoughts.

“Yeah, sorry. I didn’t hear you,” he responded turning back to his friends.

“You’re upset that Jack’s moving in on your girl,” Caden said.

“Excuse me?”

“Oh, you heard him, Crosby. We can all see that you have a thing for Misty. Now Jack’s here trying to get in her pants. It’s pissing you off because you’re too pussy to say anything,” Wesley continued.

“Yeah, have another one,” Sidney cracked while rolling his eyes.

He glanced back over to them and saw that they were now out of the water. He felt anger boil through him when he saw Jack flash one of those smiles as he ran a finger along Misty’s side. Now he wasn’t just flirting with her, he was touching her too? He’d had enough. This had to stop.

As he made his way over to them he told himself that he was only doing it to protect a friend. There was nothing more to it. Even as he said that to himself he knew he was lying a bit. If it had been a different time he would be going for Misty. Even so, that’s just not what was in the cards for them.

“What the hell is going on here?” he asked through clenched teeth when he reached them. They both turned to look at him in surprise.

“I’m sorry, what?” Misty asked him.

“This,” he said pointing at them. “Why are you touching her?”

“What are you talking about? I wasn’t touching her!” Jack defended himself. Misty looked just as confused.

“I just watched you!” he exclaimed.

“Sidney, Jack wasn’t touching me!” she yelled back. Sidney reached out and ran a finger along her side.

“That’s what he was doing,” Sidney explained. Misty’s expression changed to one of understanding.

“He was just asking me about my scar,” she told him with a roll of her eyes.

“Scar? What scar?” Sidney asked in confusion.

“This one,” Misty replied pointing to her side. Sidney looked to where she was pointing, and sure enough there was a faint but noticeable scar. Suddenly he felt extremely embarrassed.

“Oh man. I’m sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking,” he said running a hand over his forehead.

“It’s okay, I get it,” Jack told him. He looked over at Jack who gave him a knowing look.

“Are you drunk?” Misty asked him. He paused for a minute. Yeah, he definitely was.

“Uh, yeah, I am,” he responded, embarrassed again. She smiled and shook her head.

“Then you’re forgiven for being an idiot this time. I’m going to go grab another drink.” She shook her head at him one more time before leaving him and Jack standing there.

“I’m sorry, man. I didn’t realize. Why didn’t you tell me you had a thing for her?” Jack asked. Sidney turned to him.

“I don’t. I just know how you are. She doesn’t deserve it. Not after what she went through with Mason.” Jack gave him a look that told him he didn’t believe a word he’d said.

“Come on, Sid. I know you better than that,” Jack prompted. Sidney sighed and turned back to see Misty laughing with Zara about something.

“It’s just not like that with us. She’s here to figure out what she wants from life and I’m way too busy to even think about dating. There’s nothing about the two of us that would work.” Jack threw an arm around his shoulders.

“If it makes any difference, she’s been immune to my charm. She’s too busy talking about you,” Jack assured him. Sidney smiled. It was something.

As night fell Sidney started a fire. Most of the people that were left gathered around the fire. I took a seat next to Sidney. He’d apologized to me a few more times about the incident earlier, but I just blew it off. It wasn’t a big deal. He was drunk and did something stupid. Hadn’t we all been there?

Even so I couldn’t quite shake the incident completely from my head. Why had he been so upset in the first place? He had obviously been angry when he first reached us, but I couldn’t figure out why. I also couldn’t figure out why I’d felt a shiver run through me when he’d run his finger along my side. I hadn’t felt that when Jack had touched me. I blamed it on the alcohol consumption and tried to push that out of my head as well.

At some point they put the fire out and moved the party inside. Almost everyone that was left was crashing at his house somewhere. I was squeezed in on the couch next to Sidney talking with the group. After that things started to get blurry.